Cleaning up time could mean one of two things. It could mean time for a clean up which sounds pretty normal. Or there is the less normal idea of time being the thing that needs cleaning up. I am thinking about the idea of time being the thing that needs cleaning up.
I had better explain what I mean about time getting dirty. Ever looked back over your life and realised that there are some parts of the calendar that are full of black marks that are linked to the anniversaries of unhappy things that have happened in your life. These could be jobs that have been lost, or lurches in family situations that have led to relationship breakdowns, a medical diagnosis or treatment.
Believe it or not that was what my December calendar was full of black marks when I added in the anniversaries of things like that. It was crazy if something was going to go wrong then it was more likely to go wrong in December than any other month. It didn’t help that my birthday is just over a week before Christmas and I had a few disasters when it came to celebrating my birthday. With parties being spoilt by drunken guests or people being invited and then not turning up and this year there has been the challenge of knowing when I was going under the knife and how much impact that would have on me.
Rubbing out the black marks
There were so many black marks that it became pretty obvious that something about time as it relates to me needed cleaning up. The first step was to look in my past and see what had gone in my life in December. Well that was not that difficult. A couple of weeks before I was born my dad finally lost his argument with the bureaucrats about having to do army service. Those were the days when young men had to do National Service. By the time my dad was forced into the army it had gone down to 18 months rather than 2 years and he was able to join a regiment that did the sort of work he had trained for in civilian life i.e. the Royal Engineers.
When mum had me one of the nursing staff thought she was lying about dad being in the army and was so unkind to mum that we both carried the impact of her words for decades. Dad had a 180 mile journey to do once he knew I was on the way and able to leave his duties. Poor guy landed so exhausted and hungry at his mother-in-law’s home he agreed to eat something that he had never done before. Not exactly an easy time for anyone really.
The thing was I had looked at this story a few times from different angles. There was the time when I had forgiven the bureaucrats for taking my dad away. A separate time of ministry where I had pulled down the hedge of protection I had put up to protect myself. Think Sleeping Beauty being surrounded by an impenetrable hedge and you will get an idea what I mean. What else could there be in that story that I needed to forgive people for so reduce the vulnerable area that the enemy could attack. Well I had to seriously think about that one but I did manage to come up with a few places where my lack of forgiveness had left an opening for enemy attack so I dealt with those.
After that it was a case of coming forwards and thinking about all the other times when December had not gone to plan. The strange things is that the real impact of those black marks did not start until after I got married and got worse as time progressed. OK maybe the first thing I really needed to clean up were the issues surround the birthday party I had during the first year we were married. That was a disaster zone in its own right as my husband and his guests were definitely not on their best behaviour that night. No wonder there were a few things that I needed to deal with there like forgiving and really cleaning up my remaining bitterness. That was just the start it was then a case of moving through the other events in Decembers past and cleaning them all up so the enemy had no grounds for an attack on me during December.
One of the things that I had thought could happen was that I could end up having surgery on my birthday. After all they had given me one date then moved it back a week and if something else had happened and they moved it back yet another week then it was not impossible that I would be having surgery on my birthday.
As it turned out I did not have surgery on my birthday and they did change the date again. The third date I was given was 2 days before the first date I was given. Instead of going into hospital for surgery in December it was done and I was out of hospital before December. The changing dates for surgery has not made it easy to plan a birthday celebration but on the other hand there is always my half birthday.